Your Source for Security Cameras & Other Security Equipment

Helpful Tips

Hiding Indoor Security Cameras

We all know that the presence of surveillance cameras can influence behavior, which is why we use them for security for homes and businesses. Although having them installed in plain sight can be helpful, concealing their presence can also prove to be beneficial.

Careful consideration goes into installing hidden cameras both indoors and outdoors. When installing these cameras outdoors, there are various discreet locations from which you may choose. However, hiding security cameras indoors may be a bit more challenging. Here are some tips to help you properly hide your indoor security cameras.

  • Wireless Security Cameras

Wires can be hard to hide as they must run along the walls. Instead, choose wireless cameras that can be controlled remotely and may use an electrical source or batteries.

  • Location, Location, Location

Choosing the right location is key when it comes to hiding your cameras. You want your security camera to go unnoticed, but you also want to get the proper angle and viewing field to capture valuable footage. Seek out areas that often go overlooked and are more crowded and busy than clean and spacious.

  • Size Matters

Because you are trying to conceal them, you want to choose cameras that are smaller than usual, but still posses the qualities and features you require. Small, compact, and wireless security cameras are ideal.

  • Heavy-Duty Adhesive Strips

Once you have chosen a compact security camera, rather than mounting it (which draws attention), use heavy-duty adhesive strips. Your camera may come with its own adhesive strips, but if not, you want to invest in the appropriate strips that can carry the weight of your camera (using additional strips may help reinforce it). But remember, if your camera works on a swivel & rotate mechanism, it may be mandatory to mount it to the wall.

  • Check Connectivity

Before settling on a location for your camera, you want to test the connectivity in that area. Do not ignore connectivity issues as these may indicate that your camera is not within range to receive the appropriate signals from the main hub. These issues will compromise the effectiveness of your camera, thus, you should find a new location that is within range.

In addition, if you will be installing multiple security cameras within your home, be sure to focus on one at a time. Install and test one camera at a time so that if problems arise, you can address them immediately.

When purchasing security cameras, it is important to evaluate the technical details and specifications of the different cameras and how they suit individual needs. If you have any questions or need assistance, we are happy to help – visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Home Security Mistakes & Tips

Making mistakes when it comes to your home security can compromise your safety, leaving you vulnerable to burglary and theft. When choosing the best home security system for you, avoid making these common security mistakes and ensure that you properly safeguard your home and loved ones.

Mistake: Buying The Wrong Home Security Systems.
There is no “wrong” home security system, however, what works for one person may not work for you. This is precisely why there are various types of security systems on the market.

In order to choose the best system for you, do your research. You want to look at different reviews from reputable sources. Search the security system you are eyeing, or the type of system you’re looking for. In addition to reviews, pay attention to any complaints from real buyers that you may come across. There may be legitimate issues that you should know about before making a purchase.

Also, these are some important features you should consider when shopping for a security system:

  • Remote monitoring
  • Real-time notifications
  • 911 & emergency services
  • Input capacity
  • Ease of installation

Lastly, to help you make the right decision, and possibly save you time, you should speak with a security professional. With expert knowledge and experience under their belt, a security professional will have a better idea of which type of security will best suit your needs.

Mistake: Not Testing Your Configurations.
It is rare that one home security system is enough for all your home security needs. For added protection, some components to consider may include:

  • Indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Motion sensors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Glass break detectors
  • Door and window sensors
  • Freeze sensors
  • Water sensors
  • Driveway sensors

Of course, these are just some of the many components you may or may not want to add to your system. Whether you have one security camera or 20 different cameras and sensors, you should test all of them to ensure proper configuration and performance. For example, you may not know that your camera is poorly positioned or that your alarm system was not properly activated.

Try simulating a break-in with a friend, family member, or your pet to determine the capabilities of your home security system. Most criminals are seasoned vets so they probably know how to bypass one of more components of your system, thus having more aspects can help to ensure they are stopped.

Mistake: Lack Of/Poor Maintenance Of Home Security System.
Your security system should be maintained on a regular basis, whether it’s weekly, monthly, semi-annually or annually – do what’s best for what you need. Maintenance can involve various things such as updating software, changing batteries, changing faulty or defective parts, and more.

Professional Maintenance
Professional maintenance can be done annually or semi-annually. You may want to check if your vendor offers any maintenance packages in the service contract. If they don’t, you can enlist the services from a home security inspection company.

The services typically consist of the following:

  • Repair or replace broken parts of your home security system
  • Test the control panel and all other components of your home security system
  • Check that signals are sent to and received by the monitoring center

Professional maintenance ensures that there’s no guesswork in handling, fixing or replacing faulty components of your system.

DIY Maintenance
Your DIY checklist should include:

  • Check/change exterior lighting to ensure clearer pictures or videos for your surveillance cameras
  • Simulate intrusion to check if motion sensors will detect it or trigger the right alarm
  • Test your control panel if it has a test model but if your system includes remote monitoring (which it should), inform the monitoring team to avoid starting a false alarm
  • The National Fire Alarm Code requires annual inspection of residential household fire systems, but you can press the test button of your smoke detector to see if it’s functioning properly from time to time

Keep these tips in mind in order to avoid these critical mistakes when shopping for a home security system.

If you’re looking for quality CCTV surveillance systems and security cameras for smart prices, feel free to browse our stock online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to speak with an expert today! Find the latest news and updates on our Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest pages.

Home Security Camera Placement Tips

When it comes to security camera systems, you can invest in the best, most advanced equipment, but choosing poor locations for your security cameras can render your system ineffective.

In order to choose the best placement for your surveillance cameras, you should consider the layout of your property and which areas need monitoring. Most home or business owners target high traffic areas and entryways.

Here are more helpful tips for installing your security cameras.

  • The most commonly targeted entryways are the front door, back door, and first-floor windows, so be sure these are under video surveillance.
  • In addition, a security camera at the front door can act as a digital peephole since you can access your live feed to see who’s at the door. You can place it above the door or window frame facing downward so that it covers the area a few feet in front of the opening. Or you can place it inside your home on the window sill overlooking the front yard.
  • The type of camera will also help determine where it should be placed. Surveillance cameras with a focus range of around 45 to 75 degrees should be aimed at specific areas (ex. doorway, garage). Wide angle cameras should be placed where they can view 75 to 180 degrees without any obstructions. For security cameras that can rotate, be sure to check with the manufacturer for information on how much unobstructed viewing area is necessary.
  • For surveillance cameras being installed outdoors, be sure they are waterproof, vandal proof, and have night vision capabilities in order to record overnight. Motion detection lights around the perimeter of your home can also help capture quality recordings as well as deter burglars from approaching.
  • In addition, when placing security cameras outdoors, you want them to be visible yet out of reach. By installing them at least 9 feet above the ground, you decrease the likelihood of tampering, vandalism, or theft of your cameras.

Do you have any security camera placement advice or tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Shop our great selection of quality CCTV security cameras and surveillance systems for your home or business. Visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294.

Home Security For The Holidays

The holidays are here, and whether you’re hosting the festivities or going out of town, you want to make sure your home is secure. First and foremost, if you don’t have them already, you may consider installing a home security camera system. A home security system will alert you if and when your alarm system is triggered or motion is detected, and security cameras can record pertinent footage as necessary. Should these alerts indicate criminals are on or around your premises, you can quickly contact authorities. For those of you who will be away for the holidays, an empty home is prime target. You should employ measures to make it seem like someone is home. The following are some security tips and advice to safeguard your property and avoid being targeted by thieves.

Hire a house or pet-sitter.
If possible, and if you feel comfortable with it, hire an overnight house-sitter. Before hiring, be sure to do a background check. Depending on your needs and instructions, duties may include mowing the lawn, taking the trash out, shoveling the driveway, or feeding and walking pets. If you are not comfortable with a stranger staying in your home, you may want to enlist a trusted friend or relative to either stay at your home or stop in regularly to handle these tasks.

Put your mail/newspaper subscription on hold.
Nothing screams “we’re away” more than mail and newspapers piling up. Ask your post office to hold your mail or have someone collect and sort your mail daily. If you have a newspaper subscription, pause delivery or inquire about switching to an online subscription.

Make use of curtains.
As previously mentioned, for burglars, there’s nothing more alluring than an empty home. For small windows, you want to close the curtains to shield your home from prying eyes. But you also want to keep some curtains ajar as curtains closed all day and night may look suspicious.

Set up sensors and timers for lights and sprinklers.
Along the same lines, invest in timers and sensors that can turn on and off at random intervals or that you can control remotely. These can help with the illusion that someone is home and are more cost and energy efficient than leaving your lights on.

Unplug electronics.
Avoid any potential accidents by unplugging your electronics and appliances. That way you can rest easy knowing you didn’t accidentally leave something on.

Leave a radio on.
Much like the lights make it appear that someone is home, the sound of a radio will do the same. An inexpensive, battery-powered radio should suffice.

Turn down the doorbell volume.
Some burglars are bold and will go so far as to ring the doorbell to confirm whether someone is home or not. If you lower the volume of your doorbell, and possibly have a radio on, they might assume the homeowners just can’t hear someone at the door.

Don’t leave spare keys at home.
Hiding keys around your home never a good idea when you’re away. Be sure you’ve collected all your keys before you leave. If you worry about losing them while on vacation, leave them with a trusted family member or neighbor.

Double and triple-check your doors.
You want to check all your doors and windows and any other point of entry before you leave to ensure they are locked and secure. Be sure your locks are working properly. If possible, install two or three locks on your main and back doors for added security.

Light up your surroundings.
Keeping the exterior of your home well-lit will help to keep intruders away. Most like to sneak around in the dark so installing a few motion-sensitive lights around your home should deter them from approaching.

Be wary of sharing information.
Social media is a fun way to keep your friends and family up-to-date on what’s going on in your life. Unfortunately, thieves like to watch social media for any easy targets. Try to avoid announcing when you will be away, constantly checking in and sharing status updates about your trip, especially if your accounts are public.

Invest in a security safe.
A quality safe hidden in your home can keep your valuables (ex. jewelry, important documents) safe. A safe will reduce the chances of burglars making off with anything valuable. A secure combination can stall them until police arrive, and bolting your safe down will add extra security.

Don’t leave a portable GPS in the car.
These days, most cars have built-in GPS systems, but if you utilize a portable GPS, do not leave it in plain sight. This is especially important if you’re leaving your car at the airport or somewhere else. Often times, when thieves break into your car and access your portable GPS, they may figure out how to get to your unattended home.

Share your own home security tips with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

For a great selection of security cameras and CCTV surveillance equipment, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. Call 800-203-6294 to speak with a representative and inquire about our free quotes and site surveys.

Text-To-911: What You Should Know

Imagine getting a notification from your security camera system that movement is detected in your home. If you are out of the house, you can check the feed and call 911. But what if you get the notification when you are home alone? You can try to escape, but if that is not feasible, your next best bet would be to lock yourself in a room and hide. In this situation, calling 911 could possibly give your location away, but what if you could send a text to 911 to discreetly summon law enforcement?

If you live in Pomona or elsewhere in the Los Angeles County, as of December 1, 2017, you are able take advantage of Text-To-911. This convenient option gives hearing and speech-impaired individuals, along with those in situations in which it is too dangerous to call 911, a potentially lifesaving option. But the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reminds everyone to “Call if you can — text if you can’t“.

Here are the FCC’s guidelines for contacting 911:

  • If you can, always contact 911 by making a voice call.
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled, and Text-To-911 is not available, use a TTY or telecommunications relay service, if available.
  • If you send a text to 911 and the service is not yet available in your area, you will receive a bounce-back message advising “text is not available please make a voice call to 9-1-1″ or use telecommunications relay service (for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability). Note: Bounce-back messages are intended to minimize your risk of mistakenly believing that a text to 911 has been transmitted to an emergency call center.
  • Location accuracy varies by carrier and should not be relied upon. Be prepared to give your location.
  • Text-To-911 service will not be available if the wireless carrier cannot ascertain a location of the device sending the message.
  • Text-To-911 is not available if you are roaming.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text to 911.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 911 as they cannot be received at the 911 center at this time.
  • Text messages should be sent in plain language and not contain popular abbreviations (SMH, LOL, ICYMI) or emojis, as they will not be recognized.
  • Text-To-911 cannot be sent to more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 911.
  • Text must be in English only – there is currently no language interpretation for text available (still in development).
  • Remember that the FCC’s Text-To-911 rules do not apply to text messaging applications that do not support texting to and from U.S. phone numbers.
  • Text messaging applications that only support texting with other app users or texting via social media are not required to support Text-To-911.

As we all know, texting can be extremely dangerous in certain situations, but in others, such as Text-To-911, it could save lives.

Protect your property with quality CCTV surveillance cameras and equipment from SecurityCamExpert.com. Browse our stock online or call 888-203-6294. Find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for the latest news and updates.

Expensive Security System Mistakes

Sometimes you end up paying more than you should when it comes to home security systems. Whether it is from lack of research or sheer convenience, there are ways to effectively invest in your home security without breaking the bank. Review these common home security mistakes to ensure you are getting the most for your money.

•    Mistake: Your first option was your only option.
Don’t just go with the first company you find -do your research. Check out both local and national companies to compare rates and get free quotes when possible. This step will help you discover who truly values your security versus those looking for a big sale.

•    Mistake: You didn’t consider lifestyle changes.
Aside from thinking about your current needs, you should also consider your future plans. For example, if you’re planning on growing your family, you may want more surveillance in the nursery. Or, if you’re single, you may relocate a few times before settling in to a spot, so you may want to inquire about cancellation or relocation services.

•    Mistake: You’re overlapping cameras.
While the idea of having multiple angles on entryways and high traffic areas sounds safer, it could be unnecessary. Focus more on getting the best angles with the least amount of cameras. This will save you money on equipment and could make it easier to manage your system.

•    Mistake: You didn’t talk about discounts.
When it comes to discounts, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You could be missing out on special deals and offers, such as a Veteran or senior citizen discount, or you may even be able to work out a payment plan rather than paying it all up front.

•    Mistake: You haven’t updated your insurance.
No matter what kind of equipment you choose, be sure to let your home insurance provider know. These systems may add value to your home, and could possibly save you some cash on your monthly payment. But before committing to system, you should check with your provider.

•    Mistake: You have more than you need.
In relation to the overlapping cameras, you may have opted for the most comprehensive system when you really could do with a simple set up. Evaluate your needs, such as how many entry points you wish to monitor, and you can tailor your system accordingly. Remember that when it comes to security cameras, choose quality over quantity.

If you’ve made any of these mistakes, you can still make them right. If you need help, please feel free to call us at 888-203-6294. We can help with surveillance equipment, site surveys, and security camera installation. Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our selection and connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

September Is National Preparedness Month

Recently, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have devastated and affected many, leaving a trail of destruction in large areas. Whether it is hurricanes, thunderstorms or tornadoes, natural disasters provide a stark reminder of our vulnerability and that we should always be prepared.

September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” Each week throughout the month focuses on a different theme, all helping to emphasize preparedness among everyone including youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

The best way to combat the unpredictability of natural disasters and emergencies is to plan ahead. Here are some helpful tips to help get you started.

Be Informed.
Visit www.ready.gov for more information on what to expect, how to make a disaster kit and how to prepare and plan ahead for disasters.

Many emergencies can happen anywhere, such as power outages or disease outbreaks. But certain disasters are more likely in some places than others. For example, in California, earthquakes are more common than tornados or tropical storms. Understand which types of natural disasters are common for your area and begin preparing for those accordingly.

It is recommended that you understand the local mass warning systems that officials will use to inform the public of extreme weather conditions. Commonly used are the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. Know how to receive information from these agencies and prepare a backup way of receiving this information in case your primary system goes down.

You should also know where evacuation points are located in the event you cannot get home or your current location becomes unsafe. Know what circumstances would require evacuation and when to shelter in place.

Make A Plan.
Keep it practical and tailored to disasters you are most likely to encounter. Take what we have previously mentioned and discus it with your family. Go over different disaster scenarios and what the family plan is for each one. Things like whether it occurs on a weekday or weekend and if children are at school should all be considered while planning.

Making a disaster kit is the next step. You should include supplies necessary for a three-day period (the estimated time it might take to clear roads, restore power and have emergency crews reach people).
After a disaster, emergency responders will address critical needs first and might not be able to get to everyone right away. A disaster kit will allow you to take care of yourself, your family, and possibly others, freeing up emergency responders to focus on the critically injured and restoring infrastructure.

Creating multiple kits and storing them in different locations (car, office, home) is suggested – you never know where you will be when disaster strikes.

Get Involved.
You can participate in America’s PrepareAthon! – a nationwide campaign to increase community preparedness and resilience.

Share your own preparedness tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock of CCTV security cameras and systems to keep an eye on your properties.

Sun Safety

Now that summer is in full effect, you should be mindful of sun safety practices. Whether you’re enjoying a staycation, vacation, or simply some outdoor fun, be sure to protect your skin from the sun. Here are some helpful sun and skin safety tips to keep in mind.

Cover Up During Transit
The ultraviolet (UV) A rays from the sun may not always cause sunburn, however, exposure can lead to skin aging and skin cancer. If you are sitting in a car or the window seat of an airplane, you may still be exposed as these UVA rays can penetrate glass and plastic. Be sure to cover up and apply sunscreen as needed.

Be Careful Near Water
A 2009 study found that the number of moles children had increased by 5% for every vacation taken near the water. This is concerning because more moles means an increased risk of developing melanoma. While proper sunscreen application helps, it may not be enough. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning and late afternoon and utilize protective clothing and hats.

Don’t Forget About Reflected Rays
When the sun’s rays hit a reflective surface (ex. sand, snow, water), they bounce back up. This increases your exposure as the UV rays are now coming from above and below. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that water reflects less than 10% of UV rays while sea-foam in a choppy ocean reflects 25%, sand reflects about 15%, and snow reflects almost 50%. Keep your destination in mind and pack the appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

Account For Altitude
Remember that as you get closer to the sun, the air gets thinner, thus there is less atmosphere to block UV radiation. To gauge this, for every 1,000 feet you gain in elevation, the sun’s rays increase in strength by 10-15 percent.

Count The Daylight Hours
Avoiding the sun between 10 am and 4 pm (when the rays are strongest) is typically advised. However, if you’re in a place where the sun doesn’t set until 10pm or later in the summer, it is still possible to get sunburned or damage your skin well past that time frame. If that’s the case, remember to reapply sunscreen while the sun is out.

Don’t Be Fooled By Cool Or Cloudy Conditions
Cloudy, overcast skies give people a false sense of security, often resulting in them believing that staying out in the sun longer will do no harm. While UV radiation may be less when it is cold or overcast, you are still getting some and can still do damage and even get burned. Despite the cold, cloudy weather, you should still apply sunscreen.

Buy Sunscreen At Your Destination
If you’re going on vacation and only taking a carry-on bag, it’s likely that a 3-ounce tube of sunscreen won’t cut it. To ensure you have enough to last for your entire vacation, simply buy a bottle when you arrive at your destination. Having an adequate amount will deter you from skimping your applications.

Share your best sun safety tips with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest today!

Before you leave for that vacation, secure your home and property with the best security cameras and CCTV surveillance equipment from SecurityCamExpert.com. Browse our selection online or call 888-203-6294 to learn more about our site surveys, quotes, and installation services.

Video Surveillance Troubleshooting

Problems that may arise with security camera systems are sometimes related to powering issues or even factory defects. However, more often than not, these problems are usually attributed to improper cabling and connections, which boils down to the installation.

Prior to security camera system installation, technicians must be mindful of the features, functions, and especially the limitations of the actual hardware. While all installations are different, an understanding of the specific system and the customer’s expectation is crucial for a quality job.

Here are some common installation problems you may come across along with helpful trouble shooting tips.

Rolling Lines On The Screen
Whether they are white or multi-colored, these rolling lines or ghosting over the camera’s video are often caused by video cables that run close to high-voltage power sources.

To prevent this, cameras should be tested at another location prior to installation in order to eliminate any hardware defects as a cause to any future issues. Also, keep wires away from sources that supply high-voltage electrical charges at any point of the run. Improperly grounded electrical circuits can also cause video disturbances, which is why high quality camera cables are crucial.

Infrared Glare/”White Out”
The most common causes of IR glare are reflective surfaces and large, lightly colored areas. “White out” (unrecognizable white silhouettes on screen) is often caused by objects that are too close to the camera. Also, if you install infrared security cameras under eaves, the beams of the IR LEDs may hit parts of the structure and bounce back, causing the reflection to blind the camera.

To combat these potential problems, install your cameras in areas clear of any objects that may cause glare or obstruct the camera’s view. Also, be sure that the user keeps these areas clear (at least three feet). You should also test daytime and low-light conditions before completing installation. Cameras with “Smart IRs” that have dynamic IR strengths can help to alleviate these problems as well and ensure high-quality night time images.

IR Cameras Unable To See In The Dark
In order to employ IR cameras properly, a surface is necessary for the IP light beams to bounce off. For example, when you point a flashlight into the night sky it remains dark because there is nothing allowing the light beams to bounce back.

Choose cameras that have sufficient IR distance capabilities. During installation, point the cameras at an angle facing a surface (ex. ground, wall) and test them under low-light conditions before proceeding.

Extreme Glare During Daylight
If your property has lots of glass doors and windows, you may have an issue with extreme glare. Glare from the sun does not mix well with security cameras, which means a special alternative is necessary.

In these situations, you want to invest in cameras with mechanical Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). These are designed to prevail in extreme lighting conditions. While “digital WDR” does it exist and can be helpful in these situations, it does not work as well as true, mechanical WDR.

Insufficient Power Causing Cameras To Drop Out
Without the proper power source, security cameras will not perform properly, causing them to drop out or lose power. While spec sheets may specify the camera’s power needs, they may not factor in the added power necessary for IR/low-light applications. For example, the system may work fine during the day, but drop out at night when the IR kicks in.

It is advised that you use a power supply which supports twice the voltage requirements of all your cameras combined.

When it comes to power, distance may play a role as well. Voltage drops can occur due to poor quality cables and long distances. To avoid this issue, AC voltage is recommended for runs greater than 250ft.

Inadequate Coverage
With great features and functions come limitations as well. For maximum coverage of your property, first map out your installation to identify areas that need surveillance. Based on the locations, you can determine which specific features you need for certain areas. For example, focal lengths and angles of view should be considered (longer lenses for closer view, shorter lenses for wide-angle shots). In general, license plate cameras should be installed no more than five feet from vehicles and valuable points of interest (such as cash registers, entrances and exits) should have a camera dedicated solely to monitoring that area.

Have you come across any issues not mentioned here? How did you resolve it? Share your stories and advice with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Choose SecurityCamExpert.com for quality security cameras along with professional installation and support services. Visit us online or call 888-203-6294 to learn more!

Recent Comments